The Challenge

Topcon Positioning Systems is known for helping customers across a wide range of industries achieve dramatic productivity gains through products that harness the power of geo-positioning technology, making what they do smarter, faster and more accurate. Its online presence, however, failed to communicate this story in a meaningful way. The company’s existing web sites were outdated, difficult to navigate and too focused on selling individual products rather than presenting Topcon the way it wanted to be seen, as a leading provider of end-to-end workflow solutions.

Spring Studio was brought in to rethink the experience from the ground up. During a highly collaborative yearlong engagement, we partnered with Topcon to design and build a global destination that was localized for multiple countries with new messaging, interaction models and visual design.

  • Client
  • Topcon
  • Services
  • Strategy
  • Research
  • UX Design
  • Visual Design
  • Development

Understanding the Audience

We began the project with a few simple questions: How do we tell an authentic Topcon solutions story, and how do we support that story with the right site architecture and content? To find answers, our research team took a deep dive into the mindset and motivations of customers. We also spent time with company stakeholders and Topcon dealers – the ones who actually sell products to end-users – to understand how the online experience could better support the business. Our findings resulted in a core set of personas that drove our design thinking going forward.

High-Level Content Strategy

A key theme that emerged from our interviews with stakeholders was that Topcon had an opportunity to differentiate itself by highlighting its role as an advocate for its end-clients, and, as it turns out, none of its competitors were describing themselves in this way. We developed a new messaging architecture repositioning the company as both a trusted partner and a champion for its customers’ success, and we created a content strategy to support it. From that moment on, everything in the new experience – content, navigation, imagery and visual design – would flow from this new positioning.

It’s All About Solutions

Working in close collaboration with Topcon stakeholders, we arrived at an information architecture that radically changed the way customers interacted with the company online. Instead of driving users directly to product pages, as the existing experience had done, the new IA funneled them down a path toward a Topcon solution, a group of products shown working together to create a full workflow for a given application within each industry. Case studies, customer testimonials, social media posts, info-graphics and thought leadership pieces provided “proof-points” along the way to build credibility and keep users engaged with the story.

Creating a Visual Language

Topcon needed a new visual identity to support its customer-focused brand promise, one that would work for audiences in multiple countries. We created custom illustrations featuring silhouettes depicting scenes of Topcon products in real-life settings that would work worldwide, as well as a system for developing iconography used across all site sections and a new color palette. We also provided art direction for hero images that played up the partnership theme by showing Topcon employees working closely with customers on actual job sites.

Building the Experience

When you've put your all into a design, you want to see it through to completion, and we were excited by the opportunity to build the new Topcon experience. Our team of developers created a multi-lingual content management system in Drupal 7 that was responsive to both desktop and tablet, enabled data sharing across different content types and featured custom modules to support integration with enterprise services.

Editorial Workflow and Governance

During the build phase, Topcon faced a major content challenge: Everything on the site, from product descriptions and case studies to video tutorials and images of each product, had to be created from scratch. The content team needed an editorial process and a roadmap for getting it all done. We provided a detailed content “playbook,” with voice and tone guidelines, style notes, content templates for every page and a new editorial workflow customized for each content type, defining the roles and responsibilities for everyone involved.

The End Result

It’s exciting to engineer the successful transformation of a client’s digital presence. For Topcon, this was more than just a redesign. The website ushered in a new era for the company and its employees, providing them with a heightened sense of purpose and a vision for the future. We’re pleased to have partnered with everyone there to make that happen.

I cannot imagine this being a better engagement. Topcon executives, management and staff have all been impressed with the work and engaged by the themes and ideas generated in this process, and are eagerly adopting the messaging and direction we were able to establish. This project is having positive reverberations across the company, allowing us to chart a new direction for our presence in the market.

George Spies